Couplespeak™ Blog

“Kvetch Dates”

There’s a word in Yiddish which has no literal translation in English: “kvetch.”
It means “to complain, to moan, to bitch, to bellyache, to crab, grumble, fuss, nag, squawk, whine, gripe, etc. We all do it at times, but it can be a real problem when the kvetching hijacks your brain. It’s then likely to intrude upon any experience you may be having, either alone or with a partner.

Have you ever been with someone whose constant kvetching ruined the day? It’s not fun for either of you. My antidote? “Kvetch dates.”

In the same spirit of “worry dates,” (where you minimize the intrusive nature of worry by legitimizing and scheduling it), so goes the “kvetch date.” If you’re alone and feeling overwhelmed or irritated or sorry for yourself, the last thing you’ll want is for those feelings to take over your day. On the other hand, there may be sufficient reasons for you to feel this way, so you also don’t want to negate your own internal experience. The compromise here may be to “prescribe the symptom,” as we say, and make a date with yourself to give those feelings some limited airtime. Establish a time when you allow yourself to fully vent those feelings, either in writing or talking aloud, or sharing them with someone you trust. Set a timer, and limit yourself to an allotted time, maybe ten minutes. Then stop, and change the frequency in your brain by directing your attention to something else, something neutral or positive. If your mind returns to “kvetch mode,” remind yourself that you’ll have another “kvetch date” tomorrow, and get back to the more positive activity.                                                                                                                                                                                          By practicing this, you’ll be developing significant thought-stopping skills which will serve you well when needed.

If you’re coupled up, you can make “kvetch dates” with each other, especially at the end of a long, stressful week, or in the midst of an emotionally challenging situation. Make a pact to avoid advice giving, solutions or judgments, and to simply listen to each other. Agree on a maximum time allowed, then change the frequency by engaging in something pleasurable or neutral.            You’ll be protecting positive experiences by together getting the “kvetch” out of room.

You Gotta Laugh At it All!

It’s been a long, hard year locked up with ourselves amidst Covid 19. So many of our usual distractions and indulgences have gone by the wayside, and most of us have been starkly confined with our own neurotic shortcomings and lazy adaptations.

Millions have gained the “Quarantine 15” and as things open up, are slightly agoraphobic, clinging to the privacy of their home prisons, so people won’t see their 2020 bulge. Pants with buttons and zippers have become relics of the past. Sweatpants and leggings have become our best friends. Aerobic workouts, 5k races and strenuous strength training have become “Going for a Walk.”  Needless to say, once hardbodies are now mush. 

Makeup, once so sacred and mysterious, has also largely gone by the wayside, replaced with naked faces with all their spots, wrinkles and droops.

Close friends and family, previously such a source of vital warmth and connection, have been replaced by our loyal, adoring dogs, or worse – the prison of Zoom for EVERYTHING.

Haircuts, once such a luxury, have been replaced with either nothing, or DIY chop jobs. (Also, 85% of the world’s blondes have disappeared).

In sum, we all look like Hell…

A cultured life with theater, concerts, dancing and singing, has devolved into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram 24/7.

Travel to glorious new places has been replaced by Couch Potato Adventure: TV day and night.

Real life experiences like weddings, parties, graduations and funerals have yielded to the voyeurism of The News, (mostly bad), also day and night.

Lusty evenings of 80 proof booze in bars have been replaced with desperate solo guzzling of 4 proof spiked seltzer.

Intellectual stimulation through conversation, clubs, meetings, and trainings have all become “Zoomified”.

Smiles, with all their compelling warmth, have made way for Eyes-Only, and sometimes contraband Rogue-Nose Faces in a mandated masked world.

And alas, sport shopping at TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Macy’s have yielded to frequent gargantuan boxes arriving from Amazon, often left outside in the rain, generating massive amounts of garbage later needing to be hauled to the curb.

So, what to do with all these charming developments? Get depressed? Go on drugs? Get a shelter dog? Take up the Ukulele? Buy an RV? Get more takeout? Chop down some trees? Get some chickens? Go back on Zoom? Run to a therapist?

Whatever you do, you gotta start laughing at it all….

Tune into my next BlogTalk Radio podcast on Wednesday, 3/31 at 8:30 PM EST: “Giving Up – When It Helps and When It Hurts

In this 20 minute episode I discuss the process of losing traction and determination around commitments, why it happens, when it may be a positive thing, and when it may signal some personal or relational shortcomings.

At the time of this writing we’re all hearing about thousands of people giving up their diligence about Covid safety measures, tired of all the constraints and hassles, going back into restaurants, gyms, and planes with resignation or denial about the possibly tragic personal outcome, and the likely surge in Covid cases and deaths.

In this episode I explore how this behavior may be emblematic of other forms of getting tired and giving up, and I invite you to look at where and why you may quit things, vs. when you may be letting go in some healthy ways.

Join the conversation with questions or comments by calling into the studio at 877-497-9046. If you can’t make the live show you can stream it anytime at www.BlogtalkRadio.com/SusanLager.

13 At-Home Date Night Activities to Stay Sane and Have Some Fun During Covid 19

Covid 19 has presented some difficult issues for most people, and particularly for couples who can’t safely explore many options away from home for stimulation, excitement, fun and connection. Many couples seem to have run out of ideas for what to do amidst these various constraints.

So, with her permission, I’ve republished Tamara Siegel’s article from Porch.com listing 13 at-home “Date-Night” type activities, which I think you’ll find useful!

Feel free to contact me with any ideas of your own you’d like to share -(PG rated only, please.)

13 At-Home Date Night Activities – Porch

Managing the Challenges of 2020 and the Uncertainty of 2021

If your experience of 2020 and early 2021 feels like the above image, you’re not alone! No matter what side of the political fence you’ve embraced it has been a year of loss, constraints, hopelessness, helplessness,  hatred,  anxieties and extreme division, often among members of the same family, or among friends. Not only have most of us faced differences which have felt toxic and relationship-breaking, but a daily onslaught of information and news about catastrophic events, happening now, or about to unfold. I think there has been a collective experience of trauma in this country, and probably in many places around the world. Covid 19 illnesses and deaths, loss of income, loss of faith in the System, violence, racism, uncertainty.

To that point I’m encouraging everyone to pause and reflect on a few things:

How have you been coping and how well has it served you?

  • Over-drinking or drugging?
  • Isolating?
  • Reviewing the horrors frequently with peers who get it?
  • Over-eating or over-indulging in comfort foods or sugar?
  • Targeting your loved ones with rage-outs? 
  • Overspending on Amazon?
  • Denying anything unusual is happening and proceeding without any cautions or adjustments?
  • Over-working and sacrificing sleep / self care rituals?
  • Over-thinking and going to catastrophic conclusions?

In my psychotherapy practice I’ve seen how people’s responses to the trauma either exacerbate or alleviate some of the stress, bring people together for support and meaningful action or tear them apart. Depression and anxiety are off the charts now as people struggle with feelings and thoughts that can become runaway trains in response to such triggering events.

So, instead of going through a long list of more functional coping mechanisms I’m encouraging you all to begin by examining the strategies you’re already using and taking an honest look at how well these strategies are serving you. If they calm and energize you, at what cost to yourself or others? If they provide relief, how momentary or enduring is it? Do your coping mechanisms give you any sense of meaning, agency, or connection to others whom you respect and trust? Are you finding any joy amidst all this madness? Are you protecting your mental and physical health, or has that been one price of how you’ve tried to manage?

All meaningful change begins with Contemplation, so give that it’s due. Then, if you decide to seek out different coping tools you’ll be readier to use them intentionally, creatively and effectively.

Blog Talk Radio Host

Get My Free Original Articles

  • - Communication
  • - Resolving Conflict
  • - Intimacy
  • - Relationship Tools

Contact Me

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

About
Susan Lager

I am a licensed, board certified pyschotherapist and relationship coach in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Through my psychotherapy or coaching services, I can provide you with skills and tools to transform your life.

Connect With Me


Find My Office

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.